Where citizen science meets the law: a new special issue out
Where environmental citizen science meets the law? Just out a co-curated special issue on the scientific journal Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, available in open access at https://theoryandpractice.citizenscienceassociation.org/collections/special/citizen-science-and-law/. This contribution will trigger a needed debate on the legal dimension(s) of citizen science. Read the editorial by the editors, Anna Berti Suman (the European Commission Joint Research Centre), Dick Kasperowski and Christopher Kullenberg (Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg) and Shun-Ling Chen (Institute Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taiwan).
Anna contributed as co-editor, but also as author with co-authors Muki Haklay, Mara Balestrini and Sven Schade, with a thought-provoking piece on a "right to contribute environmental information" under the Aarhus Convention framework. Read the article in open access at https://theoryandpractice.citizenscienceassociation.org/articles/10.5334/cstp.496/
Short summary of the article
Can the contribution of environmental data by citizens be articulated as a right? The article explores forms of productive engagement with a local matter of concern, focusing on their potential to challenge traditional allocations of responsibilities. Taking mostly the perspective of the European legal context, it identifies a gap between the right to obtain environmental information, granted at present by the Aarhus Convention, and "a right to contribute information" and have that information considered by institutions. The article also explores what would be required to effectively practice this right in terms of legal and governance processes, capacities, and infrastructures, and proposes a flexible framework to implement it.
How to Cite: Berti Suman, A., Balestrini, M., Haklay, M. and Schade, S., 2023. When Concerned People Produce Environmental Information: A Need to Re-Think Existing Legal Frameworks and Governance Models?. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 8(1), p.10. https://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.496
Also in this special issue:
- Research paper "Obstacles to the Use of Citizen Data in Environmental Litigation before East African Courts" by Sonja Kahl, connecting the colonial origins of environmental legislation with current environmental citizen science.
- Case study "Integrating Citizen Science into the Work of United States Environmental Agencies" by George Wyeth is an exploration of the challenges faced by public authorities in building legal structures to facilitate citizen science.
- Case study "Expanding Citizen Science: Community Action Without Primary Data Collection" by Robert Evans, Nick Hacking, and Jamie Lewis illustrates how concerned groups push for epistemic representation and changes in local political decision-making.